IKEA is reportedly planning to reopen its UK stores in less than two weeks after it was forced to close due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Swedish furniture giant temporarily shut its 22 stores on March 20 – a day before Britain went into lockdown.
The report comes after other chains including B&Q and Homebase reopened during the crisis with drastic social distancing measures.
Ikea is figuring out plans to open its doors again from May 18, the Mail reports – although the chain hasn’t confirmed the exact date.
As the furniture giant isn’t considered an “essential” retailer, it isn’t allowed to open yet under lockdown rules.
But Ikea can still make plans for how to open safely once lockdown is eased.
A source told the Mail: “The objective is to open from May 18, though there is anxiety about how it can be managed.
“Hygiene is paramount and we need to be 100 per cent certain we can clean systematically throughout the day.”
Since Ikea temporarily closed its stores, shoppers have still been able to buy items from Ikea online or through the store’s app.
The chain has also still made deliveries and customers can choose a “contact-free” delivery option.
An Ikea spokesperson told The Sun: “For now, all our stores across the UK and Ireland remain closed.
“We are looking forward to welcoming customers back to our stores and will only do so as the situation allows, in line with government guidance.
“As a responsible company we are making extensive plans, and adopting even further enhanced safety measures, so that when we do reopen, our customers and co-workers feel safe and comfortable in our stores.
“The health and safety of our customers, co-workers and suppliers remains our highest priority.”
Before Ikea closed its stores, it shut down restaurants, cafes and play areas due to coronavirus.
Meanwhile, restaurant chains including McDonald’s and Burger King have recently started opening branches again.
But last week, Greggs shelved plans to reopen 20 stores due to overcrowding fears.